Oct. 8th, 2016 12:33 pm
keresaspa: (Gus Goose)
Such is the regularity with which I go to Edinburgh these days that it hardly seems worth mentioning.

But let's anyway )


Oct. 10th, 2015 10:14 pm
keresaspa: (Obelix)
Such is the regularity with which I visit dear Edinburgh these days that it hardly seems worth kicking this thing into life just to describe the latest visit. Still, it's a pattern I've established these last twelve years or so and as such it must continue. If there is a moral to this story let it be thus - don't walk backwards, it gets on everybody's tits.

Mulch )
keresaspa: (Cassidy says...)
I was probably about six years of age when I decided that I might start supporting Glasgow Celtic. As decisions went it was hardly the most radical one I ever made. In Northern Ireland the general rule is if you're a Taig you support Celtic, if you're a Prod you support Rangers. Both sides have their naysayers - be they those not interested in football, those not interested in Scottish football or those hardy few that support another Scottish club - and on both sides you get the very odd wind-up merchant who decides to support the opposite team as a piss-take (possibly the most notorious example being Glen Branagh, a member of the UDA's youth wing the UYM who died in rioting and was buried in a Celtic top). Nonetheless it tends to be what you would expect and so I fell into line as a youth, declaring myself a Celtic die-hard.

Down the years my fire began to dampen as I prioritised West Bromwich Albion, began equally looking for the results of Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish league, found myself rather seduced by Hearts after attending their match to the point that I wouldn't call myself a Celtic supporter at all. Still, I did have a good few years in which I would and yet in that time I never once visited the ground for a match (or indeed, any reason). Of course I saw a version of Celtic play Cliftonville two summers back but an actual visit to Parkhead? No.

Well strike a light as, despite no longer considering myself a supporter, it seems I'm going to go there after all. Later this month I'll be taking a post-birthday break in Edinburgh and it was my intention to take in a match whilst there. Alas and alack for the Hearts and Hibernian are both playing away that week, meaning a non-league tie between Edinburgh University and Hawick Royal Albert was to be my lot. "So be it" I thought, albeit considering it a tad tuppence-ha'penny until I chanced upon the website of Celtic, the opponents of Hearts on the Wednesday night. Given the disillusionment amongst Celtic support these days and the fact that it's only the League Cup tickets galore were to be had and so I decided to snap one up.

And there you have it. After years of being down in the mouth about never getting to go to Celtic I am to finally end up there long after I stopped caring. Still, I always like to get a match in when I'm away and that will be as good as any and I had intended to visit Glasgow for a day anyway. So, good show overall and a rare example of getting what one wants long after one has stopped wanting it. It's a funny old game, innit?
keresaspa: (Piggy Banks)
Finally, at long last, we can put all the nonsense of people pretending to care about made-up rubbish like omnium and yngling and get back to the only sport that matters, football. OK, so there was allegedly football at the Olympics but any international football tournament that has the UK as a participant is clearly not worth the candle. The league is where it's at and as such I must now turn my attention to the coming season and do my usual load of waffle about how it won't pan out. Enjoy.

Read more... )
keresaspa: (Mister Magoo)
The Premier League is still to finish so I will deal with it as and when but I made my predictions at the start of the season so now that it is over I should loo at how close I was. So read on (which you won't) or off you go (which you will). My predictions are the table on the left, the real ones are those to the right.

hit it, guys )

So that's that then. Still the Premier League to go with Albion in with a shout of claiming a highly creditable tenth place as a great way to sign off before next season's relegation and I'm sure all right-thinking individuals will join me in hoping that Mancini can finally knock Ferguson off his perch and deliver the title to Eastlands. So come on City (until we all get sick of your dominance and sudden influx of glory hunters and start hating you as well in a few years).
keresaspa: (West Bromwich Albion)
Remember a month or two ago when I expressed my admiration for Swansea City? Yes you do, you were wearing that nice green jumper of yours. Well you can forget all that now. Bloody Jacks! But seriously, when a team that has scored no goals all season suddenly puts three past you the time to get seriously worried has arrived. You can justify losing narrowly to the big boys as you don't expect to beat them and can, up to a point, take confidence from running them close but this! I stated over the summer that the Albion defence had more holes than a string vest and I also stated that nabbing an over the hill Larne man on a free from Ipswich was not going to fix that and I have been proven right (particularly given that said Larne man has not had a look-in). On paper at least we look fine in midfield and attack (although obviously not given today's result) but the defence is shambolic and will now remain so until January at least. The damage could be done by then too. I had high hopes for this season but it is now starting to look like Roy Hodgson's first full season is going to be more of the same old rubbish. Get the defence right and you'll always have a good shout but get it wrong and you are doomed. I can only hope the manager can turn this bunch of Keystone Cops into something half decent pretty quick but I won't hold my breath.

Between this and Inverness Caley Thistle continuing their inevitable Terry Butcher-inspired droop into the First Division with yet another beating this weekend has been inauspicious to say the least.
keresaspa: (West Bromwich Albion)
So that's more or less it for another football season, barring a couple of play-offs. And what a funny old season it was. In the end the same old team won it but everything else was somewhat on the topsy-turvy side. Let's review:

Reflections on the Revolution in Sandwell and other stories )

So that's it for another season and with no prospect of anything in the summer given that the year ends in an odd number all I can say is roll on August.
keresaspa: (Gus Goose)
All over bar the play-off shouting in the football season and a mixed bag overall. There was good stuff and bad stuff and as such I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on what has gone on. So if you don't like football see you later.

Season review )
keresaspa: (Mikado)
I'm not normally a fan of the insufferably smug BBC Four as it really tends to be far too full of its own self-importance but by accident I happened to catch one of its rare triumphs last night in Paul Merton's Weird and Wonderful World of Early Cinema. It was jolly good to see a decent show about the old pioneers of film and kudos to the boy Merton who was in imperious fettle in his stint as mien host. The more TV dispenses with modern crapholes like James Corden and Noel Fielding and instead gives time over to real legends like Georges Méliès, without whom the modern rubbish could never have existed, the better in my book. I'll cross my fingers that Pauly bags a series out of this as there is an absolute tonne of stuff they could cover and the man and the subject were a perfect fit. And, let's face it, it would certainly be a better use for him than his current role of sleepwalking through the well and truly played out Have I Got News For You or presenting those hackneyed travelogues on channel five. Above all, how great was it to see the brilliantly disturbing Le Cochon Danseur in its (relative) entirety rather than just the bit at the end that has been hijacked by internet kids? Just me then. Still, well done Auntie - a rare success.

Success of sorts was also to be had in the football over the weekend, albeit success of a more relative nature. Well done to Neil Lennon on winning his first Celtic game in charge. I don't personally think Neil is the man for the job just yet, especially given the spells in charge of previous novices John Barnes and Liam Brady, but he's a good Timaloy lad and deserves his moment in the sun, especially given that he is perhaps the only footballer to ever play under an LVF death theat. My personal thought is that he should probably come back in five years having done spells in charge at Crewe and Leicester but he'll do until the end of the season and I hope he can nab the Scottish Cup whilst he's at it. Decent result too for Albion, all things considered. Not too long ago a draw against Reading would have been a travesty but out of nowhere they have become harder to beat than a hammerhead shark with roid rage and the fact that it was a late leveller from the otherwise goal-shy Gabriel Tamaş means that it is a useful point well earned. But as if that wasn't enough shock of the century followed with the news that Terry Butcher has done something right! It will be nip and tuck until the very end and he still has plenty of time to balls it up but there can be no denying that Thistle have gotten their act together in recent weeks and it is a credit to the board at Dundee that they pulled their usual trick of castrating Jocky Scott as soon as he looks like winning something. Shaping up to be a decent season all round.

Still, it can't all be good news as tomorrow I face the fun prospect of a venesection. This blood-letting crap was of course prescribed quite a while ago now as the treatment for my haemochromatosis but it was not until two weeks ago that I finally had my first one. Once a fortnight for a few months they told me, as my iron levels are Cheech and Chong high, so tomorrow it is, which means a schlep out to the Falls Road for yours truly (other closer hospitals being adjudged too convenient, I suppose). Despite being tattooed I've never been one for needles and big ones that are left in your arm for ages are even worse, especially when the first arm doesn't work as happened last time. Added to that are the facts that the last one left me so weak and dizzy that I was on regularly the verge of collapse for a week and a half (no laughing matter for the poor sod that would have the job of lifting me were it to happen) and that they took a test sample out of my hand which, for some reason, sickened me to the very bone and you can see why I am not looking forward to it. Has to be done of course but if you can keep me in mind tomorrow then that would be peachy.

That's all I need to say so I shall take my leave and let you enjoy my new icon in peace. Yay!
keresaspa: (Maurice Bishop)
For some reason it is being presented as a triumph but I must admit to feeling quite uncomfortable with the recent revelation that the Royal College of Nursing has dropped its opposition to "assisted death" (possibly the most sinister euphemism this side of "friendly fire"). Support for this is apparently quite high and I must admit that some of the arguments are fairly compelling, notably the "dignity in death" business (although in fairness, I can't think of any other argument in its favour). Still, not for the first time in my life I'm afraid I find myself out of step with the majority opinion on this one.

Perhaps I have just been listening to too much Linton Kwesi Johnson recently and am starting to buy into his paranoia about a creeping fascism in Britain but this looks suspiciously like it to me. It seems odd that this has come about at a time when we are hearing nothing but stories about NHS postcode lotteries and people being refused life-saving drugs because trusts can't afford to buy them. What can rectify that - why a National Death Service of course. I know that legalised euthanasia is coming and personally I dread the day that it does. Yes the initial intention will be to reserve it only for those for whom death is inevitable but how long is that likely to last? How long before we see people with very serious but potentially operable diseases put to death as a cost-cutting measure because they don't have the money to afford their own treatment? How long before we hear "you've got a touch of the old winter coals but unfortunately amoxicillin is too expensive these days, given that NHS funding is now set at £1000 a decade so we're going to have to require you to submit to 'voluntary' euthanasia"? Sure, I'm being flippant but once this inevitable law is passed another group of people are licensed to deal out death and all this coming at a time when human life is continually cheapened in this most decadent of societies. Considering the number of people around who are prepared to overdose on grief when a Diana Spencer or a Michael Jackson dies yet who will happily leave their elderly relatives to survive below the bread line I also dread the use of emotional blackmail and the dreaded "burden" word to force people into this. In theory a dignified death is a good thing but in practice euthanasia would be treated as a readymade way of dealing with overpopulation at most ten years after the introduction of this scheme. So forgive me if I am sounding paranoid about all this but the thought of another state-sponsored agency of death to join the armed forces and the police sends a chills me to the bone.

But enough of this life and death - let's have some football instead. Ah, but it sounds good to say that. Yup, the season actually did start today, although it will have passed most by as it was only the Scottish Challenge Cup, a competition I thought I personally had seen the last of. Still the Thistle did well to progress in what is probably their best hope of winning anything this year. And let's be fair you can't ask for a better result than a penalties win over Montrose after being saved by an own goal. This season is going to stink worse than a blind dog with the trots that had boiled eggs and turbot for breakfast! Still on the positive side...nope, not a thing.
keresaspa: (Default)
Well, thank God that's over. Albion going down was bad enough although part of me expected that, but the rest of it.... Celtic were tipped far and wide to romp to the title at the start of the season with Rangers, we were told, about to disappear into impoverished oblivion. So, of course the gits go and win the title. Meanwhile Thistle go and appoint one of the scummiest knobheads in Christendom as manager in Terry Butcher and as usual the serial failure works his magic and leads the club to the first relegation in their (admittedly short) history. Well done as usual Terry, you bastard! How this failure keeps getting work I will never know. I really do dread for the future of Thistle as they are only the third club to rise from Third Division to Premier since the former came into existence. Of those other two one, Gretna, has passed out of existence and the other, Livingston, is in constant crisis and always seems to be one week away from liquidation. In an ideal world Thistle will romp to the title next season, getting four wins over Ross County under the sensible stewardship of Jim Duffy or Brian Reid but in the real world I foresee grim times ahead, grim times indeed.

A little disappointed, meanwhile, about Newcastle being relegated, although it was always inevitable when the totally inexperienced Alan Shearer arrived at the arse end of a dreadful season, cast in the typical Geordie Messiah role. Inevitable, of course, but still tinged with a touch of sadness as the Toon added a welcome dose of the absurd to proceedings with their tear-stained passion and their delusions of grandeur. Somehow, tucked away on a Sunday morning highlights show rather than their rightful place filling in space on Sky Sports News the crying, bare-moobed tattoo depositories that make up the fabled Toon Army will have much less than their deserved impact. Even more so given that we still have the Joe Kinnear-Alan Shearer power struggle to look forward to. The circus that is the Premier League will somehow be that bit less appealing without its clowns. There again at least it will be six points guaranteed for Albion next season. And pigs will fly!

Oh well, bar the inevitable wins for Sheffield United in the play-offs, Manchester United in the European Cup and Chelsea in the FA Cup we can finally wave goodbye to the shittiest season on record. Goodbye and good riddance.
keresaspa: (Nina looking a tad pertubed)
The Zavvi people really must be losing their minds - today they accidentally gave me a free copy of the deluxe edition of Leona Lewis' Spirit. Right up my street there, folks as there's nothing I like better than lung-busting X Factor types with a Mariah Carey fixation. Charity shop or Cash Converters? Decisions, decisions!

Elsewhere, I rejoiced at the dismissal of Craig Brewster recently and, whilst I stand by that sentiment, the prospective replacements are, to say the least, a tad scary. A return for Robertson would be a big step back - his last four jobs have all ended in failure and bringing back a manager who left for a bigger club has already been shown to be a bad idea. Ossie Ardiles is a more intriguing prospect. He has form where I'm concerned, of course, because he was the man who finally ended the humiliation of Albion in the Third Division and undid the mess that Bobby Gould had made (a prerequisite of anybody following Gould into a job). However it is generally held that the defensive proclivities of Keith Burkinshaw played an important role in reeling in Ossie's wilder attacking instincts and his record since then has been hit and miss. Also, the only previous example of a South American managing in Scotland that I can think of ended up a disaster for all concerned. Part of me reckons that Pitón might be worth a punt and he would certainly be preferable to that rubbish old Hearts reject again. If it does happen and he fails royally just pretend this post didn't happen.

And speaking of failing royally I see that "no real news but London is SO great that we made a paper about it anyway" has been sold for a quid. Twice in my life I have read the paper in question and I found it about as appealing as a sauna with Ann Widdecombe and "Doctor" Gillian McKeith, largely because it is filled with the sort of arrogance and self-adoration that invariably blights London for me. However I do think that the owners should have shopped around before selling it to the first KGB has-been that comes along - heck, I would have went to a fiver if they had asked. Still, at least the future looks bright for those who cannot live without the wisdom of Sebastian Shakespeare and David Mellor. Which I suspect is no one.

Snow joke

Jan. 19th, 2009 08:21 pm
keresaspa: (Uncle Ho)
They predicted snow today but so far it can't seem to make its mind up what to do. A couple of times today there has been slight bits of snow but each time the weather has suddenly decided it can't be annoyed and has opted for rain. To my senses it does not feel quite cold enough for snow. Here's hoping anyway - I hate the bleeding stuff.

Snow would perhaps be appropriate as, we have been told ad nauseam, today is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year. Not sure about that personally - personally I feel a tad unwell (as usual) but my mood is about the same as it ever is. Besides even were I to be depressed because of today (and why would I be just because some expert reckons I should be) my mood would be lifted by the news that Thistle have finally saw sense and sent Brewster packing. The lad's place in the pantheon was ensured by his first spell in charge but, as is nearly always the case, the second time around was a bit of a let-down and the recent shocking run has finished him off. Fingers crossed that the club get somebody half-decent in as two clubs going down in the same season would be unbearable.

Well, that's my lot for today. For those if you who have decided that scientists are always right and therefore you just can't be happy today I say at least you're not Boris! Stay cool, wont you.
keresaspa: (Angel)
Well, just out of another meet and greet with the honcho. Actually the last one before I submit the bloody thing properly. I need to do a bit on the introduction and conclusion, as well as fiddly things like rustling up the contents page, abstract and acknowledgements but otherwise it's ready to go. I've been warned to expect a load of faffing around as the submissions office are very anal but the end is in sight. Glad to see the back of the bloody thing in a way but I'll miss it too.

Anyway, on to more important matters. In case you've been living in a cave on Mars, Mourinho has left Chelsea. I took a turn against Mourinho back in 2006 when his Chelsea side had a particularly bad-tempered game against the Albion and Bryan Robson acted like he was angry but also seemed like he was bombing it. In many ways the game summed up Albion that season - all hot air but no bite. On the fly, however, a part of me also agrees with [ profile] caddyman's take on the affair. Whatever one thinks of Chelsea, there is no denying that Mourinho had a bit of a presence about him and could usually be relied upon to stir up a controversy or deliver a killer line. As a panto villain he fitted the game well as it was a genuine joy to hate him. When you compare this to the likes of Alex Ferguson it isn't the same as he's just annoying and never makes you think "you git" with a wry smile. All in all the English game will be a poorer place without the old special one. I'm not overly familiar with Avram Grant but I suspect he will be little more than a puppet for Abramovich, meaning that the Chelsea soap opera will become as boring as the team on the pitch. Still, if Mourinho needs work I'm sure Brewster could use a half decent assistant at the Thistle!
keresaspa: (Default)
Friday night was drink night. A little less full than usual as I gave the Buckfast a miss so as to put a hole in some Christmas booze that I had left over courtesy of [ profile] vulcanlolita. Belgian lager went down a treat and Indian pale ale always makes for a welcome, if slightly odd diversion. Also caught a bit of Lorraine Kelly on Room 101 which, to a drunken me, may as well have been Porn. Yum and indeed yum. Eventually I drifted off to sleep listening to Foster and Allen. Nothing like a bit of squeezebox after a night on the sherbets. Rock and roll!

Saturday saw the Baggies sent packing by Sunderland in probably the most predictable defeat of the season. As soon as I saw that fixture coming up I knew fine rightly that it was bound to be a drubbing. Relegation looks a fair bet now as Birmingham Shitty and Portsmouth are throwing the money about like there's no tomorrow. Ah well, at least Caley Thistle won handsomely again. It's a pity that Charlie Christie doesn't fancy the job full time as he's as close to a legend as the young club has and he's done a belter of a job so far. Plus the prospective candidates don't exactly inspire confidence. Mind you, neither did John Robertson or Craig Brewster so who knows.

Outside of football, the telly was agog with tales of a whale in the Thames. That's local news, people, or at very least should merit no more than a cursory mention. That it was run as top story on a lot of bulletins shows (to this paranoid provincial anyway) just have London-centric the media is. When walruses turned up on Rathlin Island it merited not a mention from anyone outside of Gillian Porter. Apparently some LibDem chap also had his penchant for rent-boys revealed. Crisis, what crisis?!

Yesterday saw a mighty fine final to the Snooker Masters. Good to have two pretty exciting players in the final in John Higgins and Ronnie O'Sullivan (and thankfully not a Peter Ebdon in sight) and I always like Higgins to do well. Good show and a fitting finish that it went down to the black in the 19th frame. Even managed to watch Match of the Day 2 afterwards and was pleasantly surprised to see they have ditched that widescreen rubbish. Mind you, the less I see of Lee Sharpe the better. Winded up watching a bit of Mahabharat to avoid the hell that is night time TV. Good clean fun.

Today will be spent easing back into the groove. Like a dunderpate I strolled out of the house without my student card today so it's back to the dreaded Science Library as it's such a dump that they don't even ask for ID. I have to see the honcho on Friday, which should be fun, but I don't reckon I'll bust too much of a gut on the work this week as he doesn't seem too fussed when I finish the current bit. Which is nice. Plus Blazing Saddles is on tonight. Yee-ha!
keresaspa: (Jethro Tull)
The good news- tomorrow is the final class in what has been the most mind-numbingly boring class I've ever had to take ie Introduction to Research Methods. The bad news- they expect an essay from me for next Tuesday so I'm likely to crammed onto good old Microsoft Word for the foreseeable. Still at least it's a standard 2000 word job rather than one of the honcho's 10,000 word specials. It's just so chuffing booooring.

A suitable amount of alcohol and a point for the Thistle off Rangers made this weekend a bonny one, despite the fact that my stated aim of drunkenness on Friday proved impossible despite guzzling double figures of the pints, some vodka and Southern Comfort and a fair bit of Buckfast. It's not big and it's not clever, folks. Still I felt the need for a session given that I face a week of donkey work.

Edit:- Ah, sod it. My head just isn't in the game today. I got 200 words out but that's about the guts of what I can manage today. No point trying as I'll just be wasting my time. So in the spirit of things here are two pieces of frontier gibberish, one about the Plain English Awards and Dirty Boris and t'other a truly archaic Indian take on Dirty David. Silly little boys.
keresaspa: (WBA)
As part of the old NTL TV package malarkey Northern Ireland users get a go at the old southern boob-tubery that is RTE. Part of this means the free broadcasting of a live English premiership match at 3 PM on a Saturday (something that even Sky Sports aint allowed to do) and this weekend it was the Baggies taking on the shitfaces themselves*. Well, I'm sorry I even bothered. What an abject display of pure Bryan Robson that was. After taking a point off the Arsenal last time out I was hoping for far better and as usual Greening was knocking his pan and even got the better of that rooster nose Roy Keane in a couple of midfield tussles. But to then lose 3-0 and to a double from Paul "red all over" Scholes. Pure rubbish. As if that wasn't enough Thistle lose after the woefully unambitious appointment of Craig Brewster as manager and them wee lice Dundee climb off the bottom and put Rangers back on top. Were it not for the Reds doing over Institute and the solace of Buckfast (plus watching the Miss World heats in the early hours of Sunday morning like the archaic old sexist that I am- Greece to win) I'd be reet hacked off.

A welcome meanwhile to newest reader [ profile] fluffmitten and I'll do my thing by jumping on the latest bandwagon. Strangely apt, methinks.

fidel castro is love
brought to you by the isLove Generator

*Manchester United, to be precise
keresaspa: (Default)
After a season of what looked like being more decent consolidation in the mid-table Inverness Caledonian Thistle have went and won the bloody first division of the Scottish League. What with Albion going up, Celtic winning the League and Cliftonville somehow managing to avoid relegation despite being pure slurry, this has certainly been one to remember. If Latvia can just win the Euros then it will be complete.

This hot weather and early dawns are playing havoc with my sleep. As a result I've once again been up to all hours and rising comparatively early. Pain in the neck, as you can imagine for an idle sod like myself. Plus the Saturday night/Sunday morning hedgehog phenomenon has returned to my back garden. Odd that they are appearing fairly regularly now just as the area becomes more built up. I'll never understand beasts.


keresaspa: (Default)

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